MONTESSORI Invercargill celebrated its fourth birthday in style with a hangi recently
Rose Cardoso, of Montessori Invercargill, said the children, staff and helpers had ‘‘a
wonderful week preparing for the birthday celebrations to share with friends and whanau’’.
The children were involved throughout the entire process, she said.
‘‘We began by learning about this rich cultural tradition through books and stories.’’
The centre’s ‘‘whanau (family) donated enough kai (food)’’ to prepare a feast for 200 and the tamariki (children) worked tirelessly all week weaving mats to line the fire, then lining
the hangi baskets, preparing the vegetables and meat to pack into the baskets and then
supervising the huge fire, ensuring it was hot enough to cook in, she said.
‘‘We used our donated [wooden] pellets as fuel.
Then we put the baskets into the hot hangi
pit and waited.’’
There was much excitement when the moment finally arrived for the hangi to be lifted and taken to the kitchen to prepare for the feast.
‘‘Our hangi kaiwhakahaere Tane was rewarded by the tamariki with a haka and a hongi to show our gratitude and respect for teaching us how to lay a traditional hangi,’’ Mrs Cardoso said.